By: Pastor Dennis Yim
Key Passage: 1 Timothy 3:16
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
In these troubled times, I often wonder what it means to follow Christ. I hear cliché sayings or
the “Sunday School” answers, but none of those things give me much of an answer at all. To me
– at least – they have become generic go-to answers that don’t have much substance. I know we
are called to follow Christ by following His Word and life, but what I’m longing for is an answer
that helps me to suffer graciously, love unconditionally, serve sacrificially, and to reveal the
Lordship of Christ in every aspect of my life. I think Paul’s letter gives us the answer: solidarity.
Solidarity involved Christ to be treated as an ungodly person, in becoming a curse, in being made
subject to the condemnation of the law. Solidarity entailed Christ to bear our sins and to thus
suffer the necessary consequences of our sins. In solidarity, Christ was the ultimate sin-bearer for
His people. But in His glorious exaltation He brought forth the heavenly order, the new age (the
pneuma), which is his vindication.
It’s in our solidaric union with our Lord Jesus Christ that we begin to learn how to suffer well,
love extravagantly, and to serve sacrificially. It’s in solidaric union with Christ that we begin to
understand that justification means that we have been judged as righteous because of Christ and
are thus to bring justice and mercy in God’s world that has been marred with sin and death. In
solidaric union with Christ we begin to understand that all of our lives are a means of grace to
reconcile all things to Him – the justified are Christ’s justifiers in the world. In solidaric union
with Christ we begin to understand that suffering is not meaningless nor is it something to be
ashamed of, rather, when we suffer we know that we have a Lord that deeply knows the meaning
of suffering and He lovingly suffers with us. In our solidaric union with Christ we begin to
understand that sacrificial service is not optional but it’s an obligation and responsibility; we
serve not so that we may gain something out it, but we serve so that we may make the Lordship
of Christ known and to bring human flourishing for all people – our shalomic calling.
Read this passage again. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance. Reflect on the vindication of Jesus Christ
and how He calls you to be His disciple who is called to suffer graciously, love unconditionally,
and to serve sacrificially.